Invented in 1910, toaster ovens have long been taken for granted or maligned as unnecessary countertop obstructions offering duplicative services other major appliances provide. While they are far from new-fangled gadgets, toaster ovens provide distinct advantages to a modern home cook. And, in some instances, advances in cooking technology have beefed up the options newer toaster ovens offer.
A toaster oven’s size and convenience make it an ideal choice for specific places and people. Compact, using standard electricity, and requiring no hood, a toaster oven is more than just a 2- or 4-slice toaster; it’s the optimal solution for small spaces, like dorm rooms and offices — spaces that don’t allow for a full-size oven or open flame cooking. A toaster oven’s compact size and quick warm-up time make it a perfect option for singles, college students, and families with kids who enjoy cooking for themselves. They’re also incredibly energy efficient.
In addition to toasting bread and bagels, the average toaster oven can be used to cook homemade pizza, bake cookies, and salmon, roast vegetables, and reheat leftovers. Newer, high-end toaster ovens also function as convection ovens, rotisseries, or even air fryers. In order to find the best toast ovens, our lab tested 13 toaster ovens by melting cheese, baking cookies, and testing each oven’s toast heat map. Find out which toaster ovens made our list below.